Episode 21: Show Notes and Sources


  1. History’s Greatest Monster
    1. Travis – Ajit Pai for trying to end Net Neutrality and the Title II classification for ISPs.
      1. His recent remarks dismissing the massive number of comments in support of net neutrality: “As I said previously, the raw number is not as important as the substantive comments that are in the record…” As if he is individually gauging exactly what has been said.
    2. Dave – Vice President Mike Pence for touching a piece of NASA equipment clearly labeled DO NOT TOUCH because Marco Rubio dared him to do it.
      1. And the Election Integrity Committee for releasing public comments WITHOUT REDACTING IDENTIFYING INFORMATION. Full names, addresses, phone numbers etc have been released.
    3. Bob – Sebastian Gorka – for being a shitty Nazi with a White House office, but specifically for going on CNN and saying “give collaboration [with Russia] a chance!”
      1. Argues that Trump should give NY/MD Russian spy compounds back to Russia
    4. Curtis – (Ajit Pai, but…) Jeff. You know which one. For “not recalling” his meeting(s) with foreign government representative(s) on the security clearance form.
  • “The Standard Form 86, more commonly called SF86, is a detailed form required to obtain security clearance for certain government positions. It’s the same form presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has recently had to revise after omitting meetings with Russian officials.”
  1. The Big List
    1. Healthcare Update
      1. McConnell to release new GOP healthcare plan which allows for barebones plans. #wealthcare
        1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/mcconnell-to-release-new-gop-health-plan-allowing-bare-bones-insurance-policies/2017/07/13/8f0509c4-67bb-11e7-8eb5-cbccc2e7bfbf_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_senatehealth-1110am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory
        2. Released 3 weeks after original one. Reworked it to win over enough senators to pass the the vote for the right and the center
        3. Includes the “Cruz Amendment” which would allow insurers to sell plans that don’t cover the basic requirements for an Obamacare plan.  Things like preventative care and substance abuse treatment.  Junk insurance, in other words.
          1. This is expected to drive younger healthier people out of the higher-risk pools and into these “bare bones” health insurance plans, which will drive up premiums for those who need true insurance coverage.
          2. Cruz is now backing the plan
        4. Leaves in deep cuts to Medicaid
          1. Causing at least 3 republicans to quickly state they remain opposed
            1. McCain, Collins, Paul
          2. Rollback of Medicaid expansion and proposal to slow overall growth start in 2025
          3. $772 Billion in cuts over next 10 years
        5. Will allow Americans to pay for premiums with money from tax-exempt HSA
          1. Beneficial to upper-middle class
        6. Includes additional $45 billion to treat opioid addiction ($4.5B per year, 10 years) and $70 billion to reduce premiums (insurance company subsidies)
          1. Still not enough when you consider that Ohio spent $1B last fiscal year on battling opioid addiction (fun fact: Medicaid paid 65% of that)
        7. CBO score due early next week
        8. The Senate bill also includes a limited exemption for members of Congress, which Republicans said was due to procedural limitations in Senate budget rules. Cruz introduced a measure to strike the exemption Thursday afternoon, saying in a statement: “While this exemption was included in the Senate health care bill out of procedural necessity, we must still be diligent in ensuring that Members of Congress are treated just like other Americans under this law.”
      2. Pre-cursor to tax cuts
        1. That will cut taxes, per initial estimates, $40 for those earning under $25,000 and $937,700 for those earning above $3.4 million a year
    2. FBI Director *probable* replacement Christopher Wray
      1. All signs pointing to loyalty to justice. (Hopefully practices what he preaches.)
    3. Russia
      1. Kaspersky Labs has been Working with Russian Intelligence.
      2. Internal Kaspersky emails obtained by Businessweek show that the company has worked directly with the FSB and has created security technology at the agencies behest.
      3. DJT Jr, Manafort, and the Kush all met with a Russian lawyer with ties to Putin
        1. DJT Jr. was informed via an email (which has been obtained by the New York Times) that the Russian government was working to aid the Trump campaign.
          1. Email was from Rob Goldstone – friend of the Trump family
            1. Pop music producer and PR guy
          2. Goldstone’s client Emin Agalarov – Russian pop singer
            1. But his father is Aras Agalarov – Russian real estate tycoon
            2. Trump met the Agalarovs in 2013 when he brought his Miss Universe pageant to Moscow
          3. Goldstone arranges meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya
            1. Who has formerly worked for the Russian government
            2. She insists that the meeting was to discuss sanctions
          4. At least 8 people in the meeting
            1. Kush
            2. DJT Jr.
            3. Manafort
            4. Veselnitskaya
            5. Rinat Akhmetshin – fmr. Soviet counter-intel officer and lobbyist
            6. Rob Goldstone
            7. Representative of the Agalarov family
            8. Translator
        2. DJT Jr. (Accidentally?) Confirms that he went to the meeting expecting to receive information from the Russian lawyer that could hurt Clinton.
        3. Donald Trump contradicts son, says he knew about meeting with Russian Lawyer
        4. For those who say, “The Democrats would have done the same thing!” They had the chance in 2000.  Al Gore’s campaign received a copy of a tape of W. Bush’s debate prep from an unknown source.  The campaign immediately turned it over to the FBI and warned the Bush campaign.
        5. Even breitbart editor says the meeting was ‘straight up collusion’
        6. 52 U.S.C. 30121
          1. Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals
        7. Email sent at the request of Aras Agalarov (Steele Dossier)
          1. Email states that documents and information that would incriminate Hillary Clinton would be delivered to Trump
            1. Trump announces press conference shortly after meeting setup
        8. Trump JR states meeting was to talk about international adoption
        9. Reports say that Kushner or Manafort left 10 minutes into meeting
        10. Schumer wants Trump JR to testify publicly under oath, which is good because he told Hannity Wednesday night that he is willing to testify underoath
          1. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tells NPR that he’s sending a letter to Donald Trump Jr., saying that he wants the president’s eldest son to testify in an open session of the committee and will subpoena him if necessary.
      4. Paul Ryan refuses to say, during press conference, if he would take help from Russia
        1. Asked if he’d take meeting with foreign source offering campaign info, @SpeakerRyan says “I’m not going to go into hypotheticals.” pic.twitter.com/ONemfDJsYJ
          1. — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 12, 2017
        2. HUNT: Would you accept a meeting with a representative
          1. RYAN: Oh, I’m not going to go into hypotheticals.
          2. HUNT: Would you accept a meeting with somebody who said, “I have information from a foreign adversary that will help you beat your campaign opponent”?
          3. RYAN: Look, I’m not going to go into hypotheticals, only because I think it’s important that we get to the bottom of all of this. As you all know, I supported Bob Mueller being appointed special counsel, and I think we need to let him and his team and our investigators here do their jobs and follow these leads wherever they may lay — wherever they may go and follow the facts.
      5. Justice Department settled $230 million fraud case for $6 million
        1. In the case, Prevezon was represented by Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who met with Trump Jr. during the campaign after promising incriminating information on Hillary Clinton.
        2. The Justice Department settled the case two days before trial for just $6 million. The letter, which was posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, demands to know whether the two events are connected.”Two days before this trial was set to begin, the Department agreed to settle this $230 million case for less than $6 million and no admission of wrongdoing,” it reads
      6. Kushner updates federal disclosure form
        1. White House adviser Jared Kushner reportedly updated his federal disclosure form several times to include more than 100 names on a list of foreign contacts
        2. He added more than 100 names to it, people close to Kushner told The Times.
        3. Raises questions about security clearance
          1. So Rep Wasserman-Schultz (D-FLA) proposed an amendment that would have barred the government from issuing or maintaining a security clearance for any White House individual “under a criminal investigation by a Federal law enforcement agency for aiding a foreign government”
          2. It was voted down along party lines, 22-30
      7. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defies court order deadline
        1. Does not release contacts with the Russians as ordered June 12th, giving 30 days
        2. July 14th (31 days) the Justice Department compiled and released part of a security clearance form dealing with Sessions’ contact with foreign governments
        3. In a filing Thursday morning with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department released that part of Sessions’ form which poses the question:
        4. “Have you or any of your immediate family in the past seven (7) years [bold font in original] had any contact with a foreign government, its establishment (such as embassy, consulate, agency, military service, intelligence or security service, etc.) or its representatives, whether inside or outside the U.S.?”
        5. Sessions checked “No.”
  2. Lightning Round
    1. White House Releases Sensitive Personal Information of Voters Worried about Sensitive Personal Information.
      1. The White House made public a large number of emails from voters who commented on the Election Integrity Commission.  Many of whom were concerned about the commission having access to their personal information such as names, addresses, and places of business.  
      2. The Trump administration released all of the emails with no redactions.  Ensuring that any personal information included in the emails themselves was made public.
      3. The page notifying voters which email address they should contact for comments was updated on July 13th to include a message stating that emails may be made public.  The emails that were released were received by the White house between June 29th and July 11th.
    2. US Healthcare System Ranked Dead Last in Survey of 11 wealthy nations.
      1. UK’s National Health Service was ranked first.
    3. The Majority of Republicans Say Colleges are Bad for America.
      1. As recently as 2015 higher education had broad bipartisan support.  Since the 2016 election, support for higher education among Republicans has eroded.
      2. 58% of the Republican respondents in the poll said colleges and universities have had a negative impact on the United States.
    4. Mike Pence quietly hosting private dinners and meetings with major GOP donors
    5. Lawyer Probing Russian Corruption says His Balcony Fall was No Accident.
      1. Nikolai Gorokhav survived a fall from a fourth-floor balcony.  He found key evidence in a $230 million corruption investigation involving high-ranking Russian officials.  
      2. 8 others involved in the case have died under violent or mysterious circumstances. Gorokhov and another man combined have survived three suspected assassination attempts.
    6. Fox & Friends news story about Comey is false, Trump tweets it, Fox walks it back next day
      1. When Fox & Friends—President Donald Trump’s favorite morning show—pushed a story Monday about former FBI Director James Comey leaking classified information, the president was quick to tweet about it.
      2. “A brand new bombshell report accuses Comey of putting our national security at risk, according to The Hill the FBI director’s personal memos detailing private conversations with President Trump contained top secret information,” a Fox host said in a video Trump retweeted.
      3. The president followed that retweet with a post of his own, reading, “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!”
      4. But as The Washington Post pointed out Monday, the Fox & Friends report was misleading. The Post wrote that while there were reportedly seven total Comey memos, just four apparently contained information that was considered “secret” or “confidential”—not “top secret”—and there is no evidence the memo the former FBI director sent to a friend contained classified information.
    7. CFPB releases rule that would make it easier for customers to sue banks
      1. Financial firms will be restricted in using mandatory arbitration to block class-action lawsuits, the CFPB said in a statement Monday. Clauses requiring arbitration to settle disputes are inserted routinely in contracts for credit cards, payday loans and other financial products.
      2. “These clauses allow companies to avoid accountability by blocking group lawsuits and forcing people to go it alone or give up,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Our new rule will stop companies from sidestepping the courts and ensure that people who are harmed together can take action together.”
      3. Will stick around if lawmakers do not formally overturn the decision. They have 60 days
    8. EPA will dismantle a federal clean water rule that affects ⅓ of the US population
      1. The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to dismantle the federal clean water rule, which protects waterways that provide drinking water for about a third of the US population.
      2. The EPA, with the US army, has proposed scrapping the rule in order to conduct a “substantive re-evaluation” of which rivers, streams, wetlands and other bodies of water should be protected by the federal government.
      3. “We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses,” said Scott Pruitt, administrator of the EPA.
    9. China bans portrayals of homosexuality
      1. New regulations issued by Bejing will prohibit portrayals of homosexuality, prostitution and drug addiction. The China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) is targeting what they consider “abnormal” sexual activity.
      2. The rules which were issued on Friday demand that online video platforms hire at least three “professional censors”. They were ordered to view entire programmes and take down any considered not sticking to the “correct political and aesthetic standards,” according to the latest regulations.
    10. Arkansas HB 1566 Tissue Disposal Mandate
      1. Would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion without communicating with the man who impregnated her
        1. Yes, INCLUDING A RAPIST
    11. Judge strikes down Utah law banning undercover farm filming
      1. A federal judge struck down Utah’s so-called “ag gag” law Friday, ruling it violates free speech rights.
      2. “Utah undoubtedly has an interest in addressing perceived threats to the state agricultural industry, and as history shows, it has a variety of constitutionally permissible tools at its disposal to do so,” U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby concluded in a 31-page ruling.
      3. “Suppressing broad swaths of protected speech without justification, however, is not one of them.”
      4. The Utah Legislature approved a bill in 2012 that made it a class B misdemeanor to trespass on private livestock or poultry operations and record sound or images without the owner’s permission. It also prohibited seeking employment with the intent of making those recordings. Leaving a recording device for that purpose was a class A misdemeanor.
      5. The law did not criminalize the possession or distribution of unlawful recordings, but focused on trespassing and filming while on the property, according to the state.
    12. FBI not getting a new building
      1. he federal government has canceled the search for a new F.B.I. headquarters, ensuring that the nation’s top law enforcement agency will be housed in a crumbling, cramped building in downtown Washington for years to come.
      2. For more than a decade, the government had been searching for a new location in the Washington suburbs to replace the 43-year-old J. Edgar Hoover Building, a Brutalist edifice that sits across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Trump International Hotel.
      3. The Hoover Building has room for only a little more than half of the 11,000 F.B.I. employees who work at its headquarters. The rest are scattered among more than a dozen offices in and around Washington.
    13. Trump Travel Ban updates courtesy of Judge from Hawaii
      1. Judge Derrick Watson says the supreme court ruling is too narrow in how it defines ‘bona-fide’ family ties. Ruled that those restrictions should not be enforced
      2. Grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins including 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  3. Kentucky
    1. Matt Bevin is making more changes to the Medicaid program
      1. Will save the state money, BUT
      2. Will cut another 9,000 people from Medicaid
      3. Filed this week to the federal government asking for a waiver to reshape the program in order to impose more costs and personal responsibility on consumers
      4. The Bevin administration said the changes, aimed largely at “able-bodied” adults, are part of an effort to “provide dignity to individuals” and help them toward “independence from public assistance.”
      5. The changes are not designed to cut anyone from Medicaid, according to Doug Hogan, a spokesman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Rather, the administration expects Medicaid enrollment to drop as people transition to employer health plans or choose not to participate in requirements such as work or volunteering.
  4. General Quarters
    1. Call your representatives and senators – keep voting no on BRCA
    2. Contact the FCC.  Tell them to keep Title II classification for ISPs and protect net neutrality.
      1. Visit battleforthenet.com to help.
    3. Kentucky – comment on Governor Bevin’s Google Form about Medicaid revisions
  5. Super Happy Fun Time
    1. Dave – Happy to see that Trump intervened on the Afghani girl’s visa denial request so they can join the robotics contest
    2. Travis – 80 beachgoers form a human chain to save family being washed out to sea by riptide.
      1. 2 children were caught in the riptide and 7 other people went to help and also got caught.  1 was rescued by a surfer and brought back to shore on his surfboard.  
      2. The police decided to wait for a rescue boat to retrieve the rest of the swimmers but onlookers were concerned they would be too exhausted to stay afloat after fighting to stay afloat for more than 20 minutes.  
      3. Onlookers, several of whom stated they couldn’t swim themselves, linked arms and marched out into the ocean to successfully rescue the swimmers.
    3. Bob – Jeopardy drops a sick Star Trek TNG Reference – Shaka, When the Walls Fell
      1. From the episode “Darmok” – the Enterprise makes first contact with the Tamarians
      2. Normally Universal Translators make it so different languages are comprehensible
      3. Tamarian language is totally dependent on cultural context
        1. “Shaka, when the walls fell” means that something has failed
        2. Especially poignant to people today who speak in movie/tv quotes
      4. Inspiring episode about communication across cultures and cultural literacy
        1. Use of allegory and metaphor to convey meaning
        2. Also another reason I don’t have a problem with Biblical literacy classes in KY
        3. Not to mention a justification for the importance of the humanities in general
    4. Curtis – Advisory Group to FDA Recommends Leukemia-fighting Gene Therapy Product
      1. “The treatment takes cells from a patient’s body, modifies the genes, and then reinfuses those modified cells back into the person who has cancer.” – npr
      2. It received a unanimous recommendation from the advisory committee.
      3. FDA does not *have* to approve, but usually does (and probably should, in this case!)